mia analisi: Il
La lezione del GM Schwartzman: This position comes from a very interesting game and the Lesson that comes with it is
definitely a tribute to time pressure, because that was the condition black was
experiencing when he made his next move. But before we get there, let's take a quick
look at the position!
The fact is that you could hardly ask for a more dynamic position. Not only is there a complete inequality of material, with white having the most pieces, but you can also see that a number of pieces are having interesting interactions with each other. And if all of that wasn't enough, you also have the kings, and both of their incredibly bad locations.
It is always an exciting position when a king on d8 is actually safer than a castled king, but so is apparently the case here. White's king was once well protected by his loyal king side pawns, but that was a long time ago! Black managed to successfully penetrate white's defenses, and while that cost him a bishop, it certainly looks like it was worth it, at least judging by the impressive number of black pieces surrounding the white king.
Black's king, meanwhile, hasn't exactly castled, but at least there are sme pawns in front of him. Nevertheless, judging the black king to be very safe would be a grave error, having in view the relative openness of the 'd' file, the completely open 'c' file, and the many white pieces that are lingering in the adjacent area.
To summarize things, we are dealing with a very complicated, dynamic position, where both sides are fairly close to checkmating the other. The only question is who is going to be first?
Well, the reality is that black should have been first, if he played the right move, that is... But, time pressure is not the ideal situation to be in when you have this sort of a chaos on the board. Why? Because in time pressure, you don't have to time to look for more hidden moves - you are going to make what looks like the best move. Nor do you have the time to check if the obvious move is the good one, and hopefully this will be a perfect example of this.
GM Piket, with black, chose what definitely looked like the most obvious move: 1...Qf3??
The idea is quite clear: moving the rook up to h1 would be checkmate now, IF the white
king couldn't go to g2. And since the black queen is already guarding the important
e2 square, if there is a way for her to control g2 as well, then the checkmate should be
So, guess what: Qf3 is exactly the move that does all of this. It takes away both of the white's king fleeing squares, and actually puts such a heavy grip around his neck, that is hard to see how he could get out at all. Especially if you are in time pressure...
The fact is the Qf3 has a flaw, and a rather fatal one indeed. Its big problem is that it puts the queen on the firing line of the white rook. Of course, there is a bishop inbetween, and as soon as it moves, black is going to checkmate on h1. Except, if it moves with check... If the bishop checks the black king, then black can not checkmate, right? So, the follow-up question is "how can white's d3 bishop check the black king, especially since he is on a dark square?"
Well, when you ask such a question, it is really hard not to find the right answer: white can offer his own queen by taking the pawn on d7 and thus forcing black to take it, and bring his king to d7, which happens to be a light square, and one reachable by the bishop on d3! So, after 2.Qd7 Kd7 3.Bb5 you should have no trouble realizing that black is pretty lost, since this entire transaction results in a trade of queens, thus leaving white a piece up, and with the queens off the board, there is not much more black can do to checkmate... The end result: white played 2.Qd7 and Piket had no choice but to resign...
So, while all of this is very exciting, you know I wouldn't have shown this puzzle, if there wasn't a better move! And indeed there is: 1...Rf4!
Hard to believe, but the idea is very similar: since black wants his queen
to control both e2 and g2, why not try to do it another way? And Rf4 is the way,
cause white can't capture back, as this would open the 'g' file, and the black 'h' rook
can't wait to inflict the final blow on h1.
So, first of all, black managed to recapture his bishop, which is always good news. But more importantly, the second rook now comes barging in, and white doesn't really have any other forces to aid him in his defense, epecially when it comes to the number one threat, Rh1 followed by Qh3 mate, thanks to the newly aquired coverage of the f3 square. Even white's most obvious defense, 2.Kg1 fails because of 2...Qh5!
So, there is little doubt that black could have won this game easily, had he made the right move. But, this is why time pressure is such a problem: you can't find the best moves, even when you are a Grandmaster. How to solve this problem: simple - avoid time pressure! Of course, this sounds easier said than done, but believe me, it is the right solution!